FREDERICKSBURG, VA. - The Salem Red Sox (22-23) split the series against cross-state rival, the Fredericksburg Nationals (23-21) on the road. This series marks the first time the two teams have faced each other this season. The organizations will compete in three more series against one another throughout the remainder
FREDERICKSBURG, VA. - The Salem Red Sox (22-23) split the series against cross-state rival, the Fredericksburg Nationals (23-21) on the road. This series marks the first time the two teams have faced each other this season. The organizations will compete in three more series against one another throughout the remainder of the year.
GAME 1: Salem dominates against Strasburg to take series opening victory
The Red Sox threatened the Nationals early as 2019 World Series MVP, Stephen Strasburg, got out of a bases loaded jam on a great play by first baseman Leandro Emiliani. Carrying the momentum into the bottom of the inning, Steven Williams reached base on a fielder's choice, followed by a Salem error that sent Jeremy De La Rosa home. However, the 1-0 Nationals lead was destroyed in the top of the third inning with a Niko Kavadas two-RBI double, and a two-run blast by Tyler Miller. This would be Miller’s sixth home run of the year and change the score to 4-1 in favor of Salem.
The top of the third inning set the tone for the remainder of the contest for the Red Sox. In the top of the fifth, Nathan Hickey slammed the ball over the fence for a solo home run, tallying his fourth on the season.
Fredericksburg’s bats remained silent while Salem’s only grew louder. Phillip Sikes capped off the night with a triple, but quickly left third base to go home on an error by the Nationals shortstop. This brought the final score to read 6-1 in Salem’s victory.
Strasburg picked up the loss while Salem’s Gabriel Jackson earned his second win.
GAME 2: Sikes two home runs and four RBI’s paces Salem to second consecutive win.
Salem’s bats picked up where last night’s game left off, as the offense exploded in the top of the second. Kier Meredith singled on a line drive, but made his way to third on Nationals errors, sending home three runners. This gave Salem a quick 3-0 lead. Following Meredith’s footsteps, Eddinson Paulino accumulated his thirteenth double of the season, sending Meredith to the plate. The Nationals responded with a run in the bottom of the second, changing the score to 4-1.
The fourth inning marked the start of a successful night for Phillip Sikes. He launched the ball over the fence in the top of the fourth, sixth and doubled in the top of the seventh to put the Red Sox ahead 8-1. Sikes accumulated his second and third home runs, his seventh double of the year, and four RBI’s. The Nationals managed one more run in the ninth to make the scoreboard read 8-2, but it would not be enough to overcome Sikes and the Red Sox.
GAME 3: Nationals power on offense causes Salem to drop game three
An RBI single by De La Rosa and a two-run home run by Andry Arias gave the Nationals a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first. The bats were silent for the majority of the contest, as neither team managed to score until the seventh inning.
Fredericksburg tacked on seven more runs in the bottom of the seventh, making the score 10-0. In the top of the eighth Miller responded with a single that turned into a double on a Nationals error that sent Blaze Jordan to the plate, putting the Sox on the board for the first time. The Nationals offense powered through to score two more runs in the bottom of the inning, which helped the team secure the 12-1 victory.
GAME 4: Fredericksburg rallies in the seventh to defeat Salem
The Red Sox and Nationals took the field for a double-header after being rained out on Friday night. Salem showed no mercy in the top of the first to get the day started. Blaze Jordan grounded into a double play, but not before Paulino home to make it a quick 1-0. Following his lead, a Miller RBI single sent Hickey to the plate to increase the lead. To make an even bigger statement, Kavadas hammered the ball over the right field fence for a three-run blast to make it 5-0 after three outs.
Fredericksburg responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the second, but it was not enough to dent the Red Sox large lead. Jordan accumulated his second RBI of the game in the fourth to make it 6-3, Red Sox.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Nationals bats began to bring the heat. A two-RBI single by De La Rosa brought Fredericksburg within one. The momentum carried into the final innings as an RBI double from Leandro Emiliani and an RBI single by Angry Arias secured the victory for the Nationals, 7-6
GAME 5: Salem closes out double header with victory
Salem and Fredericksburg took the field for a second set of seven innings, this game was much lower scoring than the previous.
The Nationals scored on a wild pitch from Angel Bastardo in the bottom of the first to make the scoreboard read 1-0.
The make or break inning of the game was the third as Paulino hit his fourteenth double of the season to tie the game at one. Miller broke the tie after rocking a two-RBI double to put Salem ahead 3-1.
Neither team managed to make it onto the board the remainder of the contest, letting Salem escape with the close win. Felix Cepeda left the mound with his first victory, while Maceo Campbell achieved his first save of the season.
GAME 6: Salem Shut Down by Strasburg to split series
Stephen Strasburg took the mound for a second time this series, and pitched five scoreless innings to silence the Red Sox.
Sammy Infante got the game going for the Nationals with a two-run blast to propel Fredericksburg to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the sixth, the Salem offense started to come alive with a double steal that sent Paulino to second and Karson Simas to home plate, cutting the Nationals lead. Back-to-back Fredericksburg home runs gave the Nationals a whopping 6-1 lead. Salem was able to score once more in the seventh, but another home run for the National kept Fredericksburg further ahead, 7-2.
Miller launched his seventh home run of the season to tally two more runs for Salem, but it was not enough to power over Fredericksburg